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HERIOT - WATT UNIVERSITY

School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society


FOUNDATION ENGINEERING
CLASS EXAMPLE

A circular grain silo, which imposes a gross stress of 150kN/m 2, has a diameter of
10m and is founded at a depth of 2m in a 17m layer of saturated clay. The clay
overlies a deep granular deposit. Water-table is at founding depth and the saturated
unit weight of the clay is 20kN/m3; the soil above the water-table can be assumed to
be in a saturated condition. By sub-dividing the clay layer beneath the silo into three
equal layers, and assuming 1-dimensional consolidation conditions prevail, calculate
the magnitude of the consolidation settlement of the layer beneath the centre of the
silo. The coefficient of volume compressibility, mv , decreases with depth and is
approximated by the equation mv = (0.0650.0025z) m2/MN where z is the depth
below the foundation.
The vertical stress increase below the centre of the silo is given by:

z =

q 1

1 R

3
2

where z is the vertical stress increase; R is the radius of the footing and z is the
depth below the footing.

SOLUTION